Thursday, December 23, 2010

Days 19-24

Day 19: Give treats to Home Teachers.

Day 20: Rest. We were all sick.

Day 21: Do something nice for the birthday girl (mommy).

Day 22: carolling.

Day 23: Make-up day (follow through on the service we didn't get to do.)

Day 24: Write our testimonies and set aside to be read in one year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Days 10-17

Day 10: Choir sang at Stake nativity.

Day 11: Give Thank You card to our choir director...who provides snacks and babysitting for the kids, and gourmet treats for the adults.

Day 12: Shop for church Secret Santa.

Day 13: Watched my friend's children for her.

Day 14: Kids picked out presents for each other. (At the dollar store.)

Day 15: Do something nice for Felix.

Day 16: Call and sing Nana a song.

Day 17: Shop for Secret Santa with our office peeps.

Day 18: Take treats to our home teachees.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Aren’t Moms People Too?

As I was cleaning out my files, I came across the following diatribe. I guess I wrote it almost four years ago when I still lived in San Francisco. I don't really remember writing it, and actually wasn't sure if I was the author for the first half...then there were startling facts that are unique to me. I was actually laughing at my own jokes, that's how bad my mommy memory is.

I’m a pretty young mother. In fact, I’m only 26. I stay at home with my two little girls. I know a lot less about being a mom than most, but more than some. However, after trying to teach my husband what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom, I learned some things for myself. It’s amazing what articulating something out loud does for your own understanding.

Many people think being a stay-at-home mom is easy, you get to do what you want when you want and you don’t have a schedule or anyone to answer to. I would like to meet the mom that sits at home watching soaps and eating bon-bons because she ruined it for the rest of us. Let me say for the record, moms definitely have a schedule. Whether you have babies and are tied to naptimes and bedtimes, pre-teens with soccer games, or teenagers who need the car for jobs and dates, you can’t just do whatever the heck you want. Couldn’t you just skip your children’s naps? Well yes, but I could also stick red-hot pokers in my eyes, but I won’t do it. Granted, there are times when naps need to be skipped and bedtimes pushed back, but these are definitely not the norm or else my waking hours would be much more tear-filled, theirs and mine.

That said, being able to stay at home with my children is what I have always wanted to do. No, I haven’t been brainwashed by husband, country, or creed. My husband is very grateful that I get to stay home and I am grateful that he works so hard to make this possible.

It’s hard doing what I and so many other mothers do. Why? Not because I can’t do the laundry or cook dinner. I’m perfectly capable of heating water and pouring in noodles (with frozen veggies on a good day.) I can also pass wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. The broom isn’t very heavy, either. Why, then, is staying at home and being your own boss so tiring sometimes? Here’s what I learned.

1. I rarely talk to adults and when I do, it’s usually about my children and their recent developments and escapades. How many of my friends know I’m reading the unabridged version of Les Miserables, graduated from BYU with a Humanities degree, or that I want to get my MBA? And how much do I know about my friends’ dreams and aspirations?

2. I’m obviously not in the workforce. I don’t compete with co-workers for promotions or get kudos for a “job well-done.” My thanks come from sticky mouths saying “Tanks!” or “Lu you!” Don’t get me wrong, these thanks are a mother’s dream and melt my heart. Most of my adult compliments come from my loving husband supplemented by the occasional family member, probably my mom. He does a wonderful job, but it’s also nice to receive compliments from outside observers. My daughter can’t tell me, “Wow, Mom, you did great at not losing your temper when I put my hands in my messy diaper and got creative. Great job!” Who sees these things? Who’s there to congratulate you on the little victories and encourage or scold you on the lost ones?

I usually talk to a variety of friends and family throughout the week, but how often do we compliment each other as caregivers, women, mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, and friends? It’s one thing to relate to a poopy diaper story, but it’s an entirely different thing to change someone’s day just because you thought to say, “You’re a great mom. Keep it up!” Or “I really like how you handle so-and-so’s tantrums. Teach me how to do that.” I know I’ve never done this to my own friends and I resolve to start today.

3. Juggling schedules and various household chores is a talent indeed. It seems that just when you get something figured out, something in life changes. Maybe you started working part-time, your husband lost his job, or you get pregnant again and can’t move let alone make dinner. My daily and weekly chores are not difficult in and of themselves, but when you compound everything together and add a super-sized helping of screaming children, now you have yourselves a problem. It’s dinner time, you have no idea what to make, the ground beef’s frozen, you had Mac-n-Cheese last night and shouldn’t make it again at least until tomorrow, your two year old wants candy for dinner, your baby just woke up with a messy diaper, Dad gets home in 15 minutes, the laundry needs to be changed over and can’t wait because you live in an apartment building with 32 apartments and only two washers and two dryers among the lot of you and if you’re lucky they both work today. So you strap your baby into the Bjorn, bribe your toddler down the stairs with Skittles or put on yet another Baby Einstein and just hope she doesn’t rip apart the house while you run downstairs to change the laundry. Phew! Now how are you going to carry that basket upstairs with the Bjorn full of baby? Answer: you figure out some superhuman way, as moms are prone to do, or you leave it there until Daddy gets home and add it to his “honey-do list” and hope that he magically folds and puts things away while you’re not looking. Like I said, it’s not the individual tasks that are difficult, it’s the synergistic affect of all of them put together.

4. Nothing is ever done. “I just washed these sheets yesterday!” I have said this on more than one occasion. No matter how good, healthy, and well-planned dinner is, there will always be breakfast tomorrow along with the accompanying dishes. There is no sense of “Ah, I’m finished, I won’t have to do that for a few more years.” (Unless of course you’re talking about giving birth or painting a bedroom.) Sometimes it’s hard to recognize or feel a sense of accomplishment with a never-ending list of chores and when your greatest project (your children) won’t really be done for 18 years or more. Maybe we should all paint more bedrooms.

5. No matter how good you get at doing a task, you never “graduate” from it. Many jobs have room for promotion, hopefully merit-based. But, no matter how good you get at changing those dirty diapers at all hours, you never get promoted to a higher job status where changing diapers is no longer in your job description. Even when you figure out how to get pen marks out of clothing (rubbing alcohol, by the way) you still have to do the laundry. How fair is that? Of course, you can train your children to do many of these chores, but you are still the manager and bear the responsibility for making sure they get done. You have certain chores to do and you will always have them to do. This goes for every adult, not just moms at home. The difference is, sometimes the highlight of your day is that you got the blood stain out of your toddlers new white shirt, which leads me to the next point.

6. As a stay-at-home mom, your world tends to be very small. Meeting people and making friends is much worse than when you were single and trying to find a date. Now you have fewer venues and opportunities to do so. Your friends are usually limited to those in your same situation. It’s easy to feel like there’s no one who understands, or if there are (and there are) you don’t know where to meet them.

I don’t have the solution to all these “problems” but I do know that knowing all of these things has made it easier for me to realize what I’m dealing with and “fight” accordingly. I also need to realize that I do have a name, I am a person, I chose this job, and though I will be a mother for life, I won’t always be taking care of my children to the extent I am now. This is an intense care-giving season in my life and I hope to enjoy it now and look forward and plan for the different future.

Days 7-9

Day 7: Do something nice for the birthday girl (Charly.)

Day 8: Call Grandma and sing her a song.

Day 9: Clean the house (because on day 6, this didn't really happen and I decided to give it another shot.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 6

Day 6: Do something nice for Daddy...aka, clean the house.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Days 4 and 5

Day 4: Make treats and thank you cards for Primary teachers.

Day 5: Deliver treats and cards to Primary teachers.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 3

Day 3: Do something nice for Sammy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2

Day 2: Make a lasagna and take it to my friend who is expecting baby #5 in two weeks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

24 Days of Service: Day 1

This year our family is going to try to do service once a day until Christmas: our version of an advent calendar. These aren't going to be spectacularly difficult things, just something so we're thinking of others at least once a day.

I'm also going to try to share a scripture about the service of the day as part of it.

Day 1: Write a thank you note.

We wrote thank you's and drew pictures for the family who hosted us for Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


If any of you are looking for a great deal on a three year old, I've got one who's behavior for the last few weeks, and especially today's, moves her to the clearance rack. Three year old for sale: cheap!

Yes, I got a call from a member of the Primary Presidency telling me just how terrible Charly's behavior was today and could I please do something so it doesn't happen again? She has been like a veloceraptor, testing the fence for weaknesses for a couple of weeks now, and I am not amused, and weary, and not sure what to do, and am fighting my first instinct to string her up by her toes.

Had I received this call on a different day, I may have been able to deal with it with more humor.

But I can't, because it was today. And today was crappy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Please tell me that the reason my not-quite-two-year-old's naps are getting shorter and the fact that he's having a hard time going to sleep at night is NOT what I'm thinking it is.

I would die a little inside if Felix gave up his nap anytime soon...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh, How I Cringe

I shouldn't, but I do.

Inevitably, anywhere from 5-10 times each day I hear, "Mom, can you play Littlest Pet Shop with me, please?"

And it makes me cringe.

Now, let me take a step to the side here and say that I am enormously proud that my 5 and/or 3 year old daughter(s) has phrased such a polite question. *HOWEVER* I don't like to play Littlest Pet Shop...or Barbies, or dollies, or animals, or you fill-in-the-blank. Isn't that what sisters are for? Isn't that why I birthed you 17 months apart?

-I digress-

It's not that I don't want to spend time with my child. I'll read you books all day. Come do chores with me. Heck, hop in the shower; I don't care! In fact, I'm used to it! I just.don' Anybody else?

If we play Barbies, I'll spend my time sorting the clothes and changing outfits. Because that's what I have to do to make it enjoyable for me. But, it bothers my girls. Case and point: "Mom, what are you doing? Please stop."

So, I'm trying to come up with ways I can play pretend with my girls (because it is so obviously important to them) without being terribly annoyed and so they know I love them dearly and want to spend time with them and build wonderful memories.

Here's what I have so far.

Rule #1: I will play with you as long as I can stay in one place. aka, I will play with you as long as you tell me what to say verbatim and I can sit here like the lazy slug that I am.

So far, they haven't fought me too much on this one...

Rule #2: It's okay if Mommy closes her eyes. This one will probably never fly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If you can do this...

If you can do any of the following by yourself, or without causing someone emotional must not have children.

*go to the bathroom
*take a shower
*sit on the couch
*get dressed
*brush your teeth
*run errands
*open the door
*close the door
*wake up
*read a book
*watch a movie

Seriously, it's that joyous time of life when someone needs me at all times. I'm getting better at expecting that and rolling with the punches, all without losing my mind. How's that for a magic trick?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How did we get here?

As we find ourselves in an unexpected situation, and one in which we don't know how long we'll be (aka, we're livin' with our very generous in-laws) I remember a quote.

I can't remember the quote exactly, and I'm too lazy to look it up because I don't know where to find it, but it talks about when the Saints were commanded to settle Kirtland, and even though they didn't know how long they'd be there, they were commanded to settle it "as if for years."

Now, I'm pretty sure all parties involved hope we're not here for years, but I do realize the wisdom in making our lives functional, especially for my children. I need to have a schedule, move out of the suitcases, make them do chores every once in a while, etc.

Hopefully this will help them feel more at home, more comfortable, more loved, and give them some semblance of stability when the rest of our lives are in an upheaval.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Isn't it Ironic?...

...Don't you think?

The irony of Mother's Day? I want to do anything except my mothering duties.

There, I said it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Systems vs. Schedules

I've always hated schedules. Always. I find it incredibly boring to do anything the same time every day. I only make exceptions for eating. How did I ever survive school? Sometimes I toy with the idea of keeping Sam home from school just so I won't have to get her ready...again...just like yesterday and just like tomorrow. But I don't, because that would be a really stupid habit to get into and a really dumb lesson to teach my child.

So, in an effort to add order to my life without adding the stifling chains of an hourly agenda, I try to come up with systems in which I can move flexibly, all while spending quality time with my kids, preserving order and sanity...and a clean house...and if my kids learn something in between, that's just icing on the cake, baby!

Here's what we have so far:

1. Monday is FHE and we always have smoothies for treat afterwards.

2. Tuesday has become "Treat Tuesday" because Tuesdays are always the most blah day of the week, at least that's what I remember from my school days. Our after-school snack is something totally unhealthy and delicious. It may even be a trip to Wal-Mart to get a donut or to Braum's for an ice-cream.

3. Doing a chore every day is not working for us. (I'm talking chores other than the usual, make bed, get dressed, brush hair and teeth, pick up toys, etc.) So I've decided that we will have bath night every other night. And on the nights we don't do bath, we will do an extra chore together. It's working well so far. :)

4. I just added this one: If we can get the house "Sabbath ready" on Saturday, then we can go out to eat for dinner. This includes getting clothes ironed, a quick wipe-down of the house, or catch-up on chores I've neglected that week (which is the norm around here...) I also need to include getting the diaper bag stocked with snacks and making sure I actually have crayons for the coloring books. How does this keep happening? Anyway, a night I don't have to cook? Or clean-up? You better believe I'm willing to make this happen! We've only done it once, and it was fun. Thank you, McDonald's!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Motherhood Panic

Did I kiss my kids enough today?
Tell them I love them?
Hold them when they ask?
Play enough games? (any games?)
Read enough stories?
Smile enough?
Use a nice voice?
Sit with them at meals?
Listen to unintelligeable stories or dream recounts?
Laugh at all?
Say more compliments than commands?

Probably not. But I wonder if the answer to all of these questions will ever be "yes." I'm sure there's always more a parent can do. But, in my quest to grow and become a better parent, at least I was better than yesterday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We could all take a lesson from the Eskimos

You know how everyone always says that the Eskimos have so many words for snow? How many is it? Anyway, I guess that detail's not important, but it is an interesting fact that many cultures have numerous words for things they are constantly surrounded by. So that begs the question: How come we, as mothers, don't have a more expansive vocabulary to describe the subtleties of the following?:

*crying (you know, to distinguish the fake ones from the urgent ones, tired ones, hungry ones, etc.)
*messes left on the high chair tray (more on this later)
*laundry stains
*heart breaks (those of you and your children)
*differing levels of naughtiness
*creative punishments
*the mysterious shmear that ends up on your clothes at the end of the day

But also
*happy squeals
*the "I love you's"
*their need for you...
*our need for them.

What else are we surrounded by?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

...and I just lost my train of thought.

I usually have a pretty good memory for birthdays and other schedules. And I still do. But since having kids...things have changed. Now there's a new problem on the block. For example, the problem is not in forgetting that Christmas is on December 25th, the problem is in remembering that it's the 25th in the first place.

Which brings me to today...

Picture this: I go to the gym, start signing my kids in and ask the date.
"Is it the 26th?" I ask hopefully. (Because if it is, it's my mom's birthday.)

"No, it's the 27th."

"Oh crap. Yesterday was my mom's birthday."

Most times I know the day of the week, and I have Sam's school to thank for me knowing even that much. Before being a mother of a school-aged child, weeks would go by without me knowing the date. Days would go by without having to step into the great outdoors. With our advent into the public school system, my motherhood oblivion has gone from completely unaware to knowing it's at least Wednesday, or "red day" at school, or even that it's pizza day for school lunch. I'm making progress.

Motherhood makes you empathetic in so many ways. One of those ways: potty training. It's an experience so horrible, that it should only be considered the second initiation into the not-so-secret club called, "Parenthood." (The first being the first 6 weeks after having the child.) One of those ways is insight and understanding of why in the world your mom called you your sister's name all.the.time, or just simplified things and called you to dinner as a unit: "The Girls." Now it makes perfect sense why someone who stays home all day would need to lie down and read a book by the time you got home from school. Aaaaaah, yes. It all makes sense. Perfect sense. Too much sense. I wish it didn't make as much sense as it does.

So, sorry, Mom. Sorry for forgetting yesterday was the 26th. I'm doing the best I can. And I did get you a little something, but I'll just have to bring it to you when I see you next week!

Here's to moms who are doing the best they can with what brain cells survived after each pregnancy, and heaven help the kids that can't understand the toll of it all, and never will...

...until they have kids of their own.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Laughter Saves Lives

I've decided that being a mom is hilarious. It is. It has to be. If it wasn't, I'd be dead by now. I think my kids are funny: they say funny things and do funny things. But then there's that "other category." You know what I'm talking about. The category where your kids do such things that make you want to cry, run away, rip your hair out, punch a hole in the wall, crawl back into bed, or just plain throw them out the window.

After the first few horrifying experiences (especially the ones that happen in public) I think I've just learned to laugh at them all. Because they are funny, in a tragic sort of way. And when you have three kids in three years, they happen so often, you just gotta roll with it. (Or perhaps, maybe, it's because I'm such a broken woman that I don't care anymore. But that can't be it, can it?)

Behold, some Fisher tragedies:

And then there are those things that are just straight-up funny.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sometimes I can't help myself

I think I can add one more thing to my list of "What kind of mother are you?"

Sometimes I can't help laughing at my children. And no, I don't mean with them. Straight up at them. If it's hurting their feelings, I try to stifle it as best I can.


When I'm washing my child's blankie and he's bawling because he can see it rolling around and around...oh, so close...and oh, so wet...There's something cute and tragic and funny about it all. Charly used to be the culprit, but I got a chance to laugh at Felix for the first time this morning.

And who can't guffaw and chortle at this little gem:
I'm still laughing...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm not above bribery, or, as I like to think of them, "earned rewards."

So what do you do when your four year old is bawling and says, "I don't want to go to school! I don't like it anymore!"

It breaks your heart because you wonder if it has anything to do with what she said the other day,

"Lexi said I couldn't be in her girl club."
I'm thinking...What girl club, you're four years old for heaven's sake!?!
What I said was, "I'm sorry, how did that make you feel?"
"Sad and angry." She's telling me this in her most matter-of-fact voice. "She said nobody was my friend."
"Oh. Well when I was a little girl, some of my friends said they didn't want to be my friend anymore, so I found new friends. Do you think you'd like to find new friends?"
"Okay, well maybe she'll change her mind tomorrow... *pause* I hope you never ever say things like that."
"Oh, no. I don't say that."
"Good, because that's not very nice and it can hurt someone's feelings."
Charly pipes in: "Yeah, that wasn't kind."

And that was it.

I think.

She hasn't said anything more about it, but that doesn't mean it's over, I suppose.

Who is this little tyrant anyway? Sam is such a sincere, constant, loving little girl, she assumes everyone else is too, and that means her feelings are more available for the hurting. She doesn't understand when kids are flippant and changeable.

Like I said, I have no idea if that has anything to do with her new-found aversion to school, but I can't get into the habit of letting her stay home now, so she knows it's not an option later.

I probed a little bit about what specifically she didn't like anymore, and she said, "Everything! I don't like anything anymore!"

"Oh, Mrs. Drury will be so sad when you're not there today."

This didn't seem to change her mind, so I tried a new tactic.

"How about I put a piece of candy in your lunch and you can eat it when it's lunchtime at school?"

She thought about for about half a second..."Okay." she said with dry eyes.

So, she picked a piece of leftover *Halloween candy, and we were off! And we weren't even late!

*Does anyone else's child choose Smarties over other candy? Sam seems to prefer them over anything chocolate (she gets that from me). They even beat out licorice, tootsie pops, and Starburst.